San Diego
Activities with Animals

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Our most recommended San Diego Activities with Animals

San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

1. San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to over 4,500 rare and endangered animals, and experience their worlds at the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, and other areas. The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is known for its naturalistic habitats and unique animal encounters. An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to the zoo‘s rare and fascinating animals, including koalas, Galápagos tortoises, tigers, eagles, flamingos, great apes, and more. Other exotic animals you may encounter include Sichuan takins, Buerger’s tree-kangaroos, arctic foxes, pangolin, and Visayan warty pigs. Explore Africa Rocks to discover penguins, baboons, the mysterious fossa, weaver birds, and other unique creatures. The festive, lively atmosphere makes the San Diego Zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows. The Zoo’s 17 Galápagos tortoises are now at home at the Fetter Family Galápagos Tortoise Exhibit. When keepers are present, you can pet and occasionally feed the tortoises over a short rock barrier. At the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge, you can get closer to polar bears than ever before. Climb aboard an Arctic research helicopter, crawl into a bear den, or measure yourself against the size of a polar bear. The Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey is a 7.5-acre habitat and a first-of-its-kind experience. This area combines the fun of a zoo with the experience of a museum by creating an untamed landscape of animals from the past and present. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience.

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Old Town San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Tour

2. Old Town San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Tour

Join the Hop-on Hop-Off Tour of Old Town San Diego at any of the tour's 11 boarding points and visit more than 100 interesting points in Coronado and San Diego at your own pace. You can begin at any time of the day and listen to the entertaining narration of the on-board conductors along the way. San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, and as you explore the sights of Old Town and the scenic coastline you’ll see why. Opt to begin your tour at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, where you’ll see original adobe homes and artifacts from the earliest Mexican settlements. At the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum you’ll learn about the importance of the U.S. Navy presence in San Diego. Then continue on to nearby Seaport Village, where you can stop for refreshments and enjoy shopping and entertainment. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter you’ll find loads of shops and other interesting places located in Victorian-themed buildings. One particular house of interest is the William Heath Davis House. Built in saltbox style, it is similar to the original home of Davis, who founded New Town San Diego. When you’re back on the trolley you’ll be entertained once again by the conductor’s narration. Continue on to the well-known Hotel del Coronado, one of America’s leading resorts. You may choose to take a stroll through nearby Balboa Park, along El Prado, the promenade lined with Spanish-style buildings. With more stops than any other tour, this hop-on hop-off trolley ride is guaranteed to deliver. In addition to sightseeing, enjoy free shuttle service to and from select area hotels, a map and day planner, and $70 in discount coupons to use at restaurants and area attractions. Hop on or hop off at 11 convenient stops: • Old Town State Historic Park • Maritime Museum of San Diego/Star of India • San Diego Embarcadero • Seaport Village • Marriott Marquis & Marina • Gaslamp Quarter • Petco Park/San Diego Convention Center • Barrio Logan • Coronado/Orange Avenue • Balboa Park and El Prado Museums • Little Italy Gold Pass includes: • Old Town Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour • Admission to the Whaley House Museum Platinum Pass includes: • Old Town Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour• Admission to the Whaley House Museum • Admission to the San Diego Maritime Museum/Star of India • Discounts on the Maritime Museum Harbor Tours

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

3. San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an adventurer’s safari paradise in Southern California. The 1,800-acre Safari Park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 375 species—many living in wide, open field enclosures. So jump onto one of our thrilling array of tours and create memories of adventure for you and your family – all while benefiting the conservation of species here and in more than 35 countries across the globe. Welcome to a land of volcanoes, tropical rain forests, a treasure trove of biodiversity—and tigers. Sumatra is home to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, along with other endangered species such as orangutans, rhinos, and elephants. Tiger Trail provides a journey to discover tigers and their current struggles within their island world. Lion Camp - Get nose to nose with our African lion pride—literally! Bring the kids up close to see lions that may come right up to the glass to check you out. Heart of Africa - The winding trails take you through an African forest and savanna to a serene lake. Stop and cool off at Jamison Research Island. Elephant Overlook - An elevated walkway takes you out where you can get a closer look at our Elephant Cam stars. Don't miss the youngsters born right here! Hidden Jungle - Enter our tropical greenhouse and experience a habitat of exotic birds, insect, and plants, home to our annual Butterfly Jungle event. Wings of the World Aviary - Everything in this free-flight aviary is designed to approximate the natural turf for over 140 birds of 40 species. Condor Ridge - Follow the trail of North American habitats and animals to see bighorn sheep and learn the great conservation story of the California condors. Other activities included in your admission: Elephant Enrichment - Watch our elephant herd enjoy morning treats. Discovery Station - This kid-friendly area is filled with musical instruments, puppets, books, craft activities, and wildlife “toys” and is designed to give children and their adult companions a playful space for animal-themed fun. Savanna Cool Zone - Walk through palm trees offering a gentle mist to three slippery critters that spout water: a turtle, a lion, and a crocodilian. Jameson Research Island Interpretive Center. Africa Tram Safari - Guided tour rides depart 10 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. daily (The Africa Tram Safari is an exciting expedition with brightly colored tour vehicles and our diverse animal collection creating a relaxing adventure. Lorikeet Landing - Watch our colorful rainbow lorikeets swoop down to enjoy nectar offered by guests. Exhibit entrance if free; lorikeet food is available for purchase to experience the thrill of feeding these birds by hand. Petting Kraal - Touch gentle deer and antelope. Have you “herd”? with Robert the Zebra - Robert the Zebra lives in digital, animated form on a large screen, where he can see the people who have come to visit. He asks questions, cracks jokes, talks about zebra life, and is very curious about humans. Frequent Flyers® Bird Show - An East African crowned crane in flight is a stunning sight viewed by only a privileged few, until now! The crane is one of the stars of the Park’s bird show, Frequent Flyers. The program lets you witness birds in full flight and focuses on a variety of birds from around the world. Animal Encounters - This interactive program gives you an opportunity to have face-to-face contact with the Park’s animal ambassadors like a cheetah, alligator, serval, and other rare and exotic animals. You may interact with trainers and ask questions about the species. Cheetah Tales - Come meet our cheetah ambassadors in Heart of Africa. Note: Schedules may vary or be canceled due to weather or animal health needs.

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San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

4. San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

Activities, attractions, and tours included on the Go San Diego All-Inclusive pass: THEME PARKS & ZOOS• San Diego Zoo • SeaWorld San Diego• San Diego Zoo Safari Park• Belmont Park• Knott's Berry Farm• LEGOLAND California OUTDOORS• San Diego Speedboat Adventures• La Jolla: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• La Jolla: Full-Day Snorkel Adventure• La Jolla: All-Day Bike Rental• La Jolla: Surfboard Rental• La Jolla: Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Rental• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr SUP• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr Kayak Rental• San Diego Harbor: 1-hr Pedal Boat Rental• Coronado: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• Coronado: SUP Board Rental• Coronado: Full-Day Bike Rental• San Diego Pier Fishing TOURS & CRUISES• 1-hr San Diego Harbor cruise by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watch & Dolphin Tour - Beautiful Newport Beach• San Diego Hiking Tour• San Diego Beach Tour• San Diego City Tour• Catalina Flyer (ferry to Catalina Island)• One Way Coronado Ferry• PETCO Park tour• GoCar San Diego 30-min tour• Dolby Theater Tour MUSEUMS & PLACES OF INTEREST• USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum• Japanese Friendship Garden• San Diego Air and Space Museum• San Diego Natural History Museum• The Fleet Science Center with IMAX• Birch Aquarium at Scripps• San Diego Museum of Man• San Diego Automotive Museum• San Diego Model Railroad Museum• San Diego Museum of Art• The New Children's Museum• The Whaley House Museum• Coronado Museum of History and Art• Museum of Photographic Arts• Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown)• San Diego Art Institute• The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House• Mingei International Museum• San Diego History Center• Living Coast Discovery Center• Museum of Making Music• Hollywood Museum• UTC Ice Sports Center• South Coast Shop & Dine Package The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass is an all-access attraction pass offering the ultimate in convenience, savings, and flexibility for visitors to the area. Choose a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day pass and save up to 55% compared to the cost of full retail admissions. Enjoy the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, The U.S.S. Midway, Harbor Excursions, the New Children’s Museum and more. A total of over 50 attractions and tours are included with your pass.  The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass comes with a digital guide including helpful attraction information including how to get there and opening times.

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Grand Baja Mexico Tour

5. Grand Baja Mexico Tour

Bienvenidos a Mexico! In our Baja Mexico Grand Tour, your adventure begins as we cross into Mexico and visit Tijuana, the fourth largest city in Mexico. We will go on a cultural sightseeing tour of the area with stops at: the Cultural Center, the Tijuana Bullring, the Tijuana Zoo, and the Tijuana Tower. We will also have time for some shopping along Avenidad Revolution. This street is the main shopping Mecca south of the border with more than 400 different types of shops that will entice you to bargain like the locals for your Mexican curios. Then it's off to Puerto Nuevo Lobster Village, once a small fisherman town, it is now home to over 50 different restaurants offering the specialty of the house, Puerto Nuevo style lobster meals. This lobster meal is a Pacific Ocean Lobster deep fried to perfection, along with unlimited rice, beans and a welcome Margarita!   After lunch (included) enjoy some time to relax along the Pacific Ocean as Mariachis serenade you. After this memorable experience we will travel to Rosarito Beach which was once the Mexican Hollywood during the 1920's. Now it is a blooming beachside community with endless opportunities to visit the beach, go horseback riding or ATV riding along the sandy beaches. You'll have the time of your life.

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GPS Talking Tour Cars: Downtown & Old Town

6. GPS Talking Tour Cars: Downtown & Old Town

Take a GPS-guided tour in the Storytelling Car® and see for yourself why TIME Magazine called GoCar "The Most Amazing Invention of the Year!" Let GoCar be your guide through an exciting loop of San Diego. GoCar, The Cure for the Common Tour®, lets you experience the beauty of San Diego and visit places tour busses cannot go – all at your own pace! Fold up your map, put away the guidebook and let the GoCar show you what most visitors never see! Zip around in a cute, yellow Storytelling GoCar as it takes you on your own GPS-guided tour. The GoCar is easy and fun to drive. Since it is GPS-guided, the car knows where you are – even if you don’t. With you in the driver’s seat, it not only tells you where to turn, it tells the stories that bring the city to life. Let the car direct you, or for those more adventurous, blaze your own trail! Above is only a suggested route. Your tour’s length may vary due to circumstances such as departure time and location, traffic and your itinerary. If you do take additional rental time, this will be billed in 15-minute increments at our retail rates. You may visit all or some of the tour’s highlights. If you are unsure of which tour to book, just book according to the amount of time you think you would like to spend. We can customize a tour especially for you, with the sights you want to include, when you come into our shop. PRICING IS PER VEHICLE NOT PER PERSON. EACH VEHICLE SEATS 2 PEOPLE. GoCar Tours, a CarbonNeutral® Company Gocar Tours is certified CarbonNeutral® by offsetting all CO2 emissions from vehicle operations, electricity use, business travel and employee commuting across global operations in Europe and the United States.

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San Diego: Tequila, Tacos & Tombstones Walking Tour

7. San Diego: Tequila, Tacos & Tombstones Walking Tour

Travel back to a world of colorful customs and ruthless pride, as you walk the streets of San Diego’s Old Town, a neighborhood known as the first town of California. The 2.5-hour walking tour explains how the area has been restored to represent what the neighborhood looked like during the 1820-1870s, and includes stops at local restaurants to savor the great cuisine and sample a few drinks. As you check out the original buildings, built with the only natural resources the land had to offer, you will learn how and why the natives thrived in their dry and warm environment. Hear about bull fights, horse races, pistol shooting matches, dances, and political events, all carried out in the town plaza during the Mexican period, and then later during the great American Gold Rush. Discover the difference between the two, and the marriage between the cultures. As one of the nation’s most haunted neighborhoods, the ghost stories of the tour will have you checking over your shoulder for lingering spirits. Visit the second oldest cemetery in San Diego, and learn the stories of some of the notorious people who still haunt the streets of the eerie neighborhood. Visit the Whaley House, considered the most haunted house in America and see why the past still haunts the present. 

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GPS Talking Tour Cars: San Diego Full Day Tour

8. GPS Talking Tour Cars: San Diego Full Day Tour

Take a GPS-guided tour in the Storytelling Car® and see for yourself why TIME Magazine called GoCar "The Most Amazing Invention of the Year!" Let GoCar be your guide through an exciting loop of San Diego. GoCar, The Cure for the Common Tour®, lets you experience the beauty of San Diego and visit places tour busses cannot go – all at your own pace! Fold up your map, put away the guidebook and let the GoCar show you what most visitors never see! Zip around in a cute, yellow Storytelling GoCar as it takes you on your own GPS-guided tour. The GoCar is easy and fun to drive. Since it is GPS-guided, the car knows where you are – even if you don’t. With you in the driver’s seat, it not only tells you where to turn, it tells the stories that bring the city to life. Let the car direct you, or for those more adventurous, blaze your own trail! Above is only a suggested route. Your tour’s length may vary due to circumstances such as departure time and location, traffic and your itinerary. If you do take additional rental time, this will be billed in 15-minute increments at our retail rates. You may visit all or some of the tour’s highlights. If you are unsure of which tour to book, just book according to the amount of time you think you would like to spend. We can customize a tour especially for you, with the sights you want to include, when you come into our shop. PRICING IS PER VEHICLE NOT PER PERSON. EACH VEHICLE SEATS 2 PEOPLE. GoCar Tours, a CarbonNeutral® Company Gocar Tours is certified CarbonNeutral® by offsetting all CO2 emissions from vehicle operations, electricity use, business travel and employee commuting across global operations in Europe and the United States.

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Diego

Want to discover all there is to do in San Diego? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San Diego

The tour included eleven locations around San Diego and Coronado Island with the option to get off & reboard at your own convenience. Trolleys run approximately every half hour. Our tour guide was very informative with personality. He provided commentary throughout such as history of various buildings, neighborhoods, naval base & founding of the city. Entire trip if you didn't get off anywhere was around two hours and totaled about 26 miles. I think it was an excellent way to get a taste of the city in a short amount of time.

Very nice to see sooo much for a low price. Excellent information from all drivers. The two day option would have been even better had we had time to take advantage of it, there was so much to see and do.

Great time and a great way to see San Diego. Enjoyed all the drivers and the lunch at Fiesta de Reyes was very good.

Beautiful zoo Will definitely be back too big to finish the first time around

Overall it was a beautiful day we spent visiting San Diego